Photo: Fay Fox
Originally from the green hills of Bennington, Vermont, mezzo soprano Katherine Beck is establishing herself as a force in the opera, concert and chamber music realms across the United States.
Ms. Beck is a second-year member of the Marion Roose Pullin Opera Studio at Arizona Opera and will soon join the Ryan Center as part of the Lyric Opera of Chicago for the 2020-2021 season. At Arizona Opera, she recently performed the role of Mary Johnson in Fellow Travelers and Catherine Wright in Shining Brow. Last season, she performed the role of Cherubino in all mainstage performances of Le nozze di Figaro in Phoenix and Tucson in April. Other notable stage-time in Phoenix includes Flora in La traviata, Madeleine Audebert in Silent Night, and Dryade in Ariadne auf Naxos.
"sung by the balmy-voiced mezzo soprano Katherine Beck" ......"uniformly excellent"
Ms. Beck made her debut at the Santa Fe Opera this summer of 2019 as Karolka in David Alden's award-winning staging of Jenufa under the baton of Johannes Debus. She also covered Ms. Emily D'Angelo as Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte.
Katie is the most recent recipient of one of the prestigious George London Awards of the 2020 competition in New York. She also recently won the Rocky Mountain region of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and will therefore be performing on the Metropolitan Opera stage in February.
Ms. Beck has been featured as Meg Page in Verdi’s Falstaff at Opera Colorado conducted by Ari Pelto during the 2017-2018 season. Equally comfortable in new music as well as standard repertoire, Katie also created the role of Lisette in the premiere of Gerald Cohen’s Steal a pencil for me in January 2018, also at Opera Colorado.
"There was fine supporting work from mezzo Katherine Beck (as the couple's friend and messenger Lisette)"
Also in January 2018, in her first attempt at the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, Ms. Beck went on to place Third in the Western Region in Los Angeles. She performed another noteworthy performance in Los Angeles in August 2017 as Mercedes, singing alongside Charles Castronovo, Kelley O’Connor and Rod Gilfry in a concert version of Carmen conducted by Brent McMunn. A long time member of Opera Buffs, she was invited back to perform the title role in La Cenerentola in Concert in December 2019.
Ms. Beck finds a second home on the recital stage in art song and chamber music, and she is a two-time Vocal Arts fellow of the Tanglewood Music Center. In the summer of 2018, Katie was chosen to premiere a new work for orchestra by Michael Gandolfi titled In America, composed in celebration of Bernstein’s Songfest and was praised for her “astute delivery of this powerful setting” (The Boston Musical Intelligencer). In the summer of 2017, highlights of Ms. Beck’s summer at Tanglewood included her performance of a recital of French art song with Roger Vignoles, as well as a celebration of humor in music in recital alongside longtime mentors Stephanie Blythe and Dr. Alan Smith.
"Highlights of Sondheim included Katherine Beck's touching rendition of "Send in the Clowns"
As part of the Tanglewood pre-season performance series in June 2017, Ms. Beck made her Symphony Hall debut in Boston in with the Boston Pops Orchestra conducted by Keith Lockhart in the premiere of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Sondheim on Sondheim alongside four Tony-winning and Tony-nominated artists. The performance had its reprise at the Koussevitsky Music Shed at Tanglewood in July 2017, with Mr. Sondheim in attendance.
Other favorite opera roles performed include Béatrice in Béatrice et Bénédict at the University of Southern California, Sesto in Giulio Cesare in Egitto with Pittsburgh Festival Opera, and another Sesto in La clemenza di Tito, also at the University of Southern California.
"Katherine Beck was a powerhouse as her son, Sextus, seeking and getting vengeance"
Ms. Beck holds degrees from the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California (MM) where she studied with Elizabeth Hynes and coached with Dr. Alan Smith, and SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music (BM) where she studied with Deborah Massell.
When Katie isn’t singing or practicing, she can be found hiking or rock climbing in the nearest mountains with her husband Scott, catching up with friends and family, or enjoying a glass of wine.